Seminar Spotlight: American History and Citizenship

The Manresa Scholars Program offers five seminars each semester, and this upcoming fall, we are excited to offer a new history course, “Understanding Historical Change: Fighting for Equal Rights in American History.” Taught by Professor Kirsten Swinth, the course explores episodes in American history through the lens of citizenship.

Together, Scholars consider how different groups of Americans have acquired full citizenship, from political to civil and social rights, and the conflicts that resulted from these expansions in citizenship. “Everything we talk about in this class speaks to what it means to live in America today, from political rights to income inequality and social inclusion. We ask hard questions about what democracy means in America and debate whether or not this nation has fulfilled its promise of full equal citizenship to all its members,” says Professor Swinth.

Course highlights include documentary screenings including 13th, to learn about the history behind Black Lives Matter. Students also take part in a discussion group to discuss the powerful book, Evicted, and the Freedom Schools of the Civil Rights Movement.

The course fulfills the Eloquentia Perfecta 1, Understanding Historical Change, and American Pluralism core requirements for Fordham College at Rose Hill students. As an American Pluralism course, it specifically examines how race, gender, and ethnicity have shaped struggles for citizenship. Students gain Eloquentia Perfecta skills as the course emphasizes participation, speaking, and writing, using effective speech and analytical thought.

In this course, Manresa Scholars are be challenged to explore issues facing modern-day Americans. Professor Swinth hopes that students gain an “understanding of the roots of hotly-debated issues of today and a passion for equality and justice.”

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Manresa Programming and Marketing Fellow, 2016-2017

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